Frost in Morrowind

Edward Frost's time in Morrowind has come to an end; but his struggles are recorded here for any to read. A year in the making, and spanning one hundred and fifty chapters… Violence, suspicion, loss, betrayal, revenge, power with a price, a fight for survival, ages-old mysteries... all thrust in the way of Edward Frost, a man simply trying to rebuild his life.

Chapter 1 can be found here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chapter 77: Faith shaker

Huleeya took me to a bookstore owned by a friend of his; a luxuriously-maned Khajiit called Jobasha. It quickly became apparent that the bookstore was a haven of sorts for those who might be regarded as being at odds (to a greater or lesser degree) with Morrowind's established government. For one thing, there was an Ordinator posted inside the store, who marched constantly about the whole of the interior.

Huleeya and Jobasha (and myself, at their prompting) sat in one of the book-lined rooms, each with a tome open on our laps. Whenever the Ordinator entered the room on his rounds, a stony silence would prevail (in which we pretended to read) - our conversation proceeded in fits and starts whenever the armoured holy warrior was out of earshot. Jobasha was obviously under suspicion by the Temple for some reason.

The Argonian Huleeya turned out to be a keen amateur historian in addition to a Morag Tong assassin; he gave me a copy of some notes he had made on the subject of the Nerevarine cult (they were actually being kept in Jobasha's shop). He also gave his apologies that he knew very little about a 'Sixth House cult', and offered to summarise and explain any part of his notes I might wish. Jobasha chimed in now and then also; he seemed to have picked up a few snippets of relevant information from various books that had passed through his shop.

A lot of what they had to say I already knew, and they didn't tell me anything that might indicate why Caius was studying the cults; but I did learn a few interesting things about the Nerevarine cult from the pair. Huleeya's interest in the matter seemed to mostly stem from an interest in the Ashlander tribes and their history; apparently the Dunmer of the Great Houses and the Ashlanders were all very similar a long time ago. The adoption of the Tribunal into the popular religion of the Dunmer was the mark of change: the Great Houses flourished with the Temple at the centre of their government, while the Ashlanders were slowly pushed into the more inhospitable areas of Morrowind.

According to Huleeya, the two main reasons for the modern differences between the Great Houses Dunmer and the Ashlanders was the manner in which the Great Houses were influenced by the Tribunal Temple, and later, by the all-consuming Imperial culture from the west.

Another interesting point was that according to the verbal histories of the Ashlanders, Indoril Nerevar did not die from wounds sustained in the battle at Red Mountain, but rather he was betrayed and slain by the lords of the Great Houses, including Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil! This was allegedly shortly before they 'set themselves up as gods'. The Ashlanders certainly held no love for the Tribunal...

Possibly the most interesting thing I heard from Huleeya was on the topic of 'False Incarnates'; people who believed themselves to be the reincarnation of Nerevar, but in one way or another, were proven not to be. The Ashlanders had another term for them: 'Failed Incarnates'. The different word reflected the difference in attitude to the False Incarnates between the Ashlanders and the Temple. The Temple said the False Incarnates were proof that the Nerevarine prophecies were also false, while the Ashlanders believed that the emergence of a series of Failed Incarnates heralded the time of the true Nerevarine.

I was glancing over Huleeya's notes as he spoke, and I noted that he wrote of a recent, and apparently famous Failed Incarnate; a Dunmer woman named Peakstar. Not much was known of her; only that there were scattered reports of her exploits as a Failed/False Incarnate spanning the past thirty years. The Argonian assassin also wrote of a fabled 'Cavern of the Incarnates', where the spirits of the Failed Incarnates dwelled. Evidently they were all proven to be false by dying before they could fulfil the Nerevarine prophecies.

In a moment of good fortune, I discovered that Jobasha had a copy of the banned 'Progress of Truth' pamphlet in stock (this was what really led me to believe that the Khajiit's store was a haven for 'society's malcontents'). I bought it from him immediately, and laid it out across the open pages of the book I was pretending to read. I began to skim through it, Huleeya joining me to read over my shoulder; he had not heard of the pamphlet, and its contents were apparently something of a revelation for him.

Based on what Mehra Milo had told me of the beliefs of the Dissident Priests, I had expected the ideas presented in their... manifesto, I suppose I could call it - to be quite radical. I was not disappointed: not only was the pamphlet radical, it was blatant heresy and treason (at least in the eyes of Tribunal faithful). In it, the Dissident Priests accused the Ordinators and the upper hierarchy of the Temple of corruption, a love of power and luxury, and neglect of the people and various causes the Temple was sworn to aid. Welfare for the poor, weak and uneducated was allegedly being overlooked by the Arch-canon and other people in positions of power within the Temple.

The Dissident Priests also accused the Ordinators of utilising acts of 'terror, torture, abduction and secret imprisonment' to discourage dissent and heresy. The pamphlet speculated that the Temple's holy warriors and guardsmen might be out of control, or a tool used by the 'corrupt priesthood' to maintain their favoured position of power.

These points were relatively minor besides the main thrust of their argument: that the Tribunal gods were not divine immortals, but merely sustained and augmented by powerful sorceries. Here the Dissident Priests gave a summary of the Tribunal's apotheosis as the Temple told it: through 'questing, virtue, knowledge, testing and battling evil, Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil were granted godhood by the Dunmer ancestors - including the 'good Daedra', the prophet Veloth, and Saint Nerevar. The Dissidents went on to ask whether the Tribunal's power might come from the same source as Dagoth Ur: Red Mountain.

The pamphlet even speculated that this power source beneath Red Mountain might somehow involve the 'profanely enchanted tools' created by an ancient Dwemer sorcerer named Kagrenac to build the 'False Construct Anumidium'. I was very curious to learn what the alleged source of power for the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur supposedly was: so it was frustrating that I didn't understand the section about this 'Anumidium'. Huleeya and Jobasha were similarly baffled.

Unfortunately, the document provided no further clue about what the Anumidium - or these tools made by Kagrenac - actually were. The only related section elaborated on the Ashlanders' account of Indoril Nerevar's death. The Dissidents claimed that shortly after the battle at Red Mountain Nerevar left Dagoth Ur guarding the profane secrets beneath the mountain (which was curious, since Hasphat Antabolis' account placed Dagoth Ur on the opposing side of the war to Nerevar), and went to confer with Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil concerning what to do with what he had found. The three of them then supposedly killed Nerevar, and drove Dagoth Ur off in order to get at this mysterious source of power Nerevar had found. It was intriguing, but didn't explain what I was truly interested in...

The rest of the pamphlet made several further accusations of corruption and secrecy: mentioning a series of secret writings and histories called the 'Apographa' - or 'hidden writings' - that contain some of the truth behind the facade of the modern Tribunal Temple.

In short, the Progress of Truth was mostly comprised of the sort of accusations commonly levelled at powerful governments and religions. I might not have assigned the claims much weight, were it not for the fact that they came from prior members of the Temple who were obviously devout enough to really study what was (possibly) happening to their faith. This made me think. If what the Dissident Priests said was true, then it was nothing short of a true revelation - a thing of incredible significance. It would cast a massive part of Dunmer history into doubt, and potentially invalidate the majority of the Tribunal Temple's tenets. It could throw the whole of Morrowind into chaos.

Was this why Caius was investigating the Nerevarine cult? Could something about the cult be linked to the claims of the Dissident Priests - and could those claims be true? A flaw in the powerbase of Morrowind's central religion and government would certainly be of interest to the Empire.

I was shaken... I began to doubt.


Anonymous Matar said...

in reply to the

Evil is blunt and tasteless (when there is no grand consipiracy involved, which is the case here in Morrowind. You can only commit wanton manslaughter). Frost has taste.


If ye do not pull it off right then yes. You have to give the character some sort of ginmmik to go by. It is hard to pll of and still be cool, but it can be done! I have done it in a Rp so I should know.

I agree that a dude who is maly like

"LOLZ I R TEH L337 B4D4$$!!!!!!"

Dose suck >.>

Friday, January 20, 2006 10:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Yeah, and Frost could have gotten away without killing those man, and if you've been reading, you know that he's been putting more and more value on life and trying to kill as little as possible.



Friday, January 20, 2006 11:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Yes but he is also killing much more then befor he is manipulating people more and more he has a very bad temper to boot.

He is trying to hide the fact that he has killed people by justifying it when in reality killing someone no matter the motive is still killing someone... at least in TES.

Whitch reminds me frosty fight vampires all the time how has he not gotten desied from them? He could cure it (He wouldn't know he had it but still..) Im just curious 'cus I always seem to atract deasis...

Saturday, January 21, 2006 10:28:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Frost's actions and intentions are (to an extent) open to interpretation...

Most of the vampires he has fought were weak and didn't get their teeth into him - and apart from that, he's just been lucky, I think. :-)

- Joseph.

Saturday, January 21, 2006 11:23:00 am  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Yes but he is also killing much more then befor he is manipulating people more and more he has a very bad temper to boot.

He is trying to hide the fact that he has killed people by justifying it when in reality killing someone no matter the motive is still killing someone... at least in TES.

He kills because he has no choice. He kills because it's either that, or be killed himself. I recall him mentioning his 'self-preservance' (I may be wrong, and he may have never said that. I think he did, though >_>), so he would obviously pick the latter of the above two options. But, with the case of the young 'Dungmer,' he had an option.

Also, Killing is Killing, yes, and Murder is always Killing, but Killing isn't always Murder, nor always bad, but always distasteful.

But, Frost's journey has not ended, and his actions and views may change.

So, he may very well become the evil biatoh that you seem to want (that sounds like I am criticizing you. I am not). I doubt it though

Great writing, by the way, Joseph

Saturday, January 21, 2006 12:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Er... I mean... He would pick the FORMER of the above two options.


Saturday, January 21, 2006 12:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

'So, he may very well become the evil biatoh that you seem to want (that sounds like I am criticizing you. I am not). I doubt it though'

It's not so much that it's just I noticed that I think that if he had the chance later on he may start to get darker.

At this moment he dose not have anthing to tie down his sanity. He dose not meditate and he trys to forget. Forgetting stuff like that always comes back to bite you on the butt :P.

criticize all you want! I don't know what that means mind you but I doubt it would bother me :P.

'Most of the vampires he has fought were weak and didn't get their teeth into him - and apart from that, he's just been lucky, I think. :-)'

Very lucky it seems for evertime I fight a vamp his first hit get's me infected :P.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 1:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

EVERY time?


You can only contract a disease once...

Sunday, January 22, 2006 1:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

By everytime I mean the first time I fight him in a new game I always catch it >.> <.<

Sunday, January 22, 2006 2:53:00 pm  
Blogger Meej-Dar said...

I don't understand people who like history. The only history I like to read about is either ancient history (like the ancient Greeks or Celts), or history about a video game series (I'm thinking of the Elder Scrolls, in particular). Basically what I'm saying is that I like this chapter because it details some of the game's history, which is interesting.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 11:18:00 am  

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